Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tracking, tracking, tracking

A quick little link while I am at work this afternoon, it tracks the missing toolbag from the Space Shuttle.  Have fun and last I checked (1:38pm EST). it was over the Indian Ocean, headed for Austrailia.  The link maestro.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Welcome to Saturday

Just in case you thought I do nothing on Saturdays, I figured I would blog about what it is I actually do do on Saturdays, then I realized that I don't do much, so the purpose of that was quickly foiled. 

With that out of the question I thought maybe a photo blog would be in order, but then again, the big event in town today is the "Celebrate the Season" parade, and while other parades have cool grand marshalls, we always get stuck with some washed up has been.  A few years back it was Chubby Checker, after him came the guy that played Carmine Raguso on "Laverne & Shirley" and this year it is the lead singer of the now defunct Grand Funk Railroad, which I guess makes them Grand Defunked Railroad, but I digress.  

Maybe a glog would be in order, but Yahoo doesn't have any hockey on tonight and the big local games either happened yesterday or tomorrow, as Pitt played West Virginia in the 101st meeting of the  Backyard Brawl as the locals call the rivalry between the two football teams on Friday, and tomorrow the Steelers are in New England to take on the Patriots.  So the glog is out of the question as well.

I could do a cooking blog, a clog if you will, as I just finished making a pretty mean batch of chili, but I lack the equipment to film such an event, and even if I had it, I doubt you would want to see my methods of cooking, that being to cook in my T shirt and underwear.  What can I say, I like being comfortable in my apartment, and comfort to me means as few clothes as is possibe.  Besides, making chili with a crock pot isn't all that difficult, just a matter of throwing in all of the ingredients and putting it on slow cook for awhile.  For me, that meant two medium sweet onions, three cans of kidney beans, one can tomato sauce, two cans of diced tomatoes,hot sauce and liberal amounts of black pepper, cayene pepper and chili powder and one pound of browned ground beef.

Other than making chili, I guess I did get something accomplished today, as I took myself to lunch for a cajun chicken sandwich and french fries.  Actually I went to lunch while out doing a few more job applications.  So far I have done 12, I have only gotten a complete rejection on one, the other 11 I assume are in various states of consideration.  I still have three more in my notebook that I want to get to at some point, I will either do them tomorrow or Monday morning at work. 

Sorry, had to step away from the blog for a bit, the chili was warm enough to eat, and yes it was muy tasty.  I love food that is spicy but flavorful and this certainly fit the bill, as my lips were still buzzing from the spices well after I had eaten it.  It took a couple of slices of bread to nullify that a little.  I say a little because I also used the bread to sop up the spicy tomato juicy stuff that was left in the bowl, thus defeating the purpose of the bread somewhat.  Still, it was oh so good.  I don't know why I don't make that more often. 

I was going to retire with a good book to my bed, but then realized I am once again out of reading material.  I finished my book today while riding the bus to grap some applications.  That only leaves me about 4 books behind on the neverending thread.  Maybe tomorrow I will add the links to those books, as but yet another thing to do tomorrow.  I of course have to work, my mom wants a Christmas list, I have to call my aunt back to let her know that I wasn't the person in the neighborhood that was shot the other day, though since then there have been two more shootings in the neighborhood, none of them involving me either.  Rather they are taking place on top of the hill from where I am, in the city's aptly named Hill District.  And of course, like a BFT from times past, it is a predominately African American neighborhood, and more caterwalling is taking place about how the shootings have to stop and blah blah fucking blah.  I have gotten to the point where I just tune it out, it will never change and the same sad commentary will take place again and again.  Just as the sun will rise, someone will get shot, people will mouth words about making their community safe, but after about 24 hours we return to the status quo.  If it is a kid that is ginned down, there may be a candlelight vigil, or a brief march in the street, but not much more.

I am edging closer to the 90 Pepsi points I want before the promotion ends at the end of December.  I noticed they started phasing the caps out, and places that push a lot of product are back to the old blue caps that are worth nothing at all.  The other day while shopping I actually had to reach to the back of the shelf, just to get an older bottle that still had a yellow cap on it.  I am up to about 76 or so, so chances are I can come up with 14 in a months time, but I may have to do a quick jaunt around the neighborhood next week to see if I can scavenge a few more before garbage day.  I blew out some Coke points the other day for a friend, I cashed them in for a poster from Snapfish, where they allow you to take your existing photographs and make a poster out of them.  I have used their service in the past, having had some photos developed from them, they seem to be pretty decent, but I know I don't have the skills with a camera to have my photos made into a poster, or put on a coffee mug for that matter, which they also do.  Still it is nice knowing that I am getting something out of saving these things, even if it isn't always for me. 

Now that I thought about it, I just went ahead and entered codes for some more Coke stuff that has been sitting on my desk.  I had like 5 caps here, only one of which I actually drank, the rest were just caps I found, and as I was on the Reward page, I saw that they are giving away Pogo stuff for the next 30 days, one and three month memberships.  A one month is 100 points, so I entered the codes I had here and damn if my account doesn't read 99 points.  The Pogo stuff is a limited time offer, so I either have to pass on Pepsi and drink Coke at least once, or find another cap while out scrounging around.  Actually, I can't believe that people let those caps just get away like they do, I saw stuff on there for gift cards for Omaha Steaks, more stuff from Snapfish, including a photo calendar, stuff from 1-800-Flowers, just all kind of neat stuff that I would be interested in.  Hell they keep putting cool stuff up like that, I may quit getting free music altogether and opt for the other goodies. 

Well I better head to bed, I do have to be up in the morn, and I have my chili to put away yet, though I would advise anyone standing behind me for the next few days, I am thinking a stinking cloud may be in the offing.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Stolen content - Black Friday's first victim

Worker dies at Long Island Wal-Mart after being trampled in Black Friday stampede

Updated Friday, November 28th 2008, 4:16 PM

Farriella for News

Police tape surrounds a Wal-Mart that was the scene of a deadly stampede.

A Wal-Mart worker died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island store Friday morning, police and witnesses said.

The 34-year-old employee, a temporary maintenance worker, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too...I literally had to fight people off my back."

The unidentified victim was rushed to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m., police said.

The cause of death wasn't immediately available pending results of an autopsy.

A 28-year-old pregnant woman was knocked to the floor during the mad rush. She was hospitalized for observation, police said. Early witness accounts that the woman suffered a miscarriage were unfounded, police said.

Three other shoppers suffered minor injuries, cops said.

Wal-Mart spokesman Dave Tovar called the incident a "tragic situation."

"The safety and security of our customers and associates is our top priority," Tovar said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families at this difficult time."

Before police shut down the store, eager shoppers streamed past emergency crews as they worked furiously to save the store clerk's life.

"They were working on him, but you could see he was dead, said Halcyon Alexander, 29. "People were still coming through."

Only a few stopped.

"They're savages," said shopper Kimberly Cribbs, 27. "It's sad. It's terrible."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Asshat - Yes We Can

As I was sitting in my apartment last evening, I was kind of flipping between watching TV, eating my concoction of beef Ramen Noodles with salisbury steak and gravy and playing games on ye olde computer when I flipped channels on the TV and the NBC Nightly News was on.  I forget the story that they were yammering about, it could have been economny this, holiday spending that, or the typical travel news story that always pops up around the Thanksgiving holiday.  None of that bothered me all that much, as it was pretty much standard fare for the news, but then they went to commercial break and all bets were off.

The first thing that came up was the "Yes We Can" DVD, which is the biography of Barack Obama.  Now normally I am not one to jump on the liberal media bandwagon, far too often I find the media takes what ever story is the most sensational and runs with it. That being said, I am most troubled by this product because it is being produced by NBC News regarding a man that they will be covering for the next 4 years.  How objective can they be when it comes to covering the President elect (as well as his presidency itself) when they are using him to push product.  This isn't a matter of putting together a video of someone who is either dead or no longer in office and making use of stock footage and interview clips that being a news organization would give you access to in order to shed greater insight on a person or subject, it is taking someone that you are expected to cover objectively and using them to sell soap.  Just how objective in their coverage are they going to be, when bad press could hurt DVD sales?  It creates a conflict of interest where there needn't have been one and for that, NBC News is our Asshat of the Week.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas List - A blog tradition

Yes, it is that time of year again, where I sit here and get all greedy by listing the things I would like this year.  Not that I expect anything on this list, but I have always been of the notion that if someone asks me what I want for Christmas, I am quite sure I can list some things that would be of use and once again my mother made that mistake this year, so here I am firing off this years version of the Christmas list.  But where to begin?  How about right here.....


My own radio show



A haircut

A quiet breakfast of an bagel with cream cheese, coffee and a copy of the Washington Post

The West Wing on DVD (any season but the first and last, whcih I already have)

Pogo stuff (membership, albums or gems)

A Philly Cheesesteak

A good set of HD rabbit ears for my TV

Books (ask for specific authors/titles)





PAT bus pass

Miroslav Satan Penguins jersey


A maid

A pliable female

Gift cards (Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, Giant Eagle)

Chad Vader DVD

Hockey tickets

A homemade pie

Better results for my fantasy hockey team

Postage stamps

Okay, that is all I can think of for now.  Of course, once I post this, I am sure I will think of a dozen other things that I should add.



Monday, November 24, 2008

Thank you, Shea Weber

First off, hats off to the one person in the room who actually got the silly reference in the title of this blog, and that one person would be me, so excuse me while I pat myself on the back for that one.  As for what it means, we will get back to that at some point.

Since I have a few minutes to kill here, thought I might jot a few notes of news that have been rattling around in my cranium for the past few days and I managed to not put into the last blog.

I am in the process of working myself out of a job at the radio station.  Right now the two big things I have going for me is that 1) I am the only idiot willing to get up on a regular basis for work at 5am, which usually means a 4am fall out of bed time and 2) the people with the Wachovia show (the paid program I produce on Tuesday and Thursday morning) continue to sing my praises, and if there is one thing you don't want to do, it is piss off a paying client.  They are so happy that they are thinking of picking up a third day, probably Wednesday mornings, though that is still in the very talkative stages at this point.  All of that being said, my workload is starting to diminish somewhat.  I had mentioned previously about our format switch, from an all talk format to a business talk format, well the thing is, most of our old programming was piped in via satellite, which you have to sign a contract in order to get.  Some of the bigger name shows require you to pay a fee to carry them, but for the most part you get the shows on a barter deal, that is, they give you the programming for free, and you make sure all of their national advertisers clear their spots on your station.  The syndicator then goes to the advertiser and says, "Look, we are getting your spot to clear in "x" number of markets", and they use that number to set their advertising rates.  It is one of the reasons that most of the stuff on your dial isn't live and local, it is cheaper by far to just plug in a dish and pay no one, or maybe one person to babysit it than to pay talent and put on a show.

Sorry, iced tea is done brewing, I'll be right back.

As I was saying, as part of our contractural agreement, when we ended our broadcasting of the shows, we were required for the next 90 days to carry all of the spots that normally would have aired had they still been on the station.  And who got the job of recording all of those spots and making sure they ran?  Why that would be me.  I was recording over 4 hours of just commercials every week, which is quite a project, but I managed to get it done, and this is the last week I have for those spots and I just put the last 75 minutes of them in today.  Of course that means I have a lot less work to do, unless I can find new stuff for me to do.  I started a project of clearing out all of the out of date stuff from our production studios.  It may sound simple, but there is stuff in there that is 8 and 9 years old, so it is going to be a time consuming process.


Day Two (Electric Boogaloo)

Okay, onto something completely different, this from the nobody asked me but department.  If you run a bank and you claim that you need no government assistance but the government forces you to take $25 billion dollars and then you come back and say, well, we may need another $25 billion to keep from failing, haven't you already, in fact, failed? 

Does Pamela Anderson actually have a vagina, or is it really a bag of holding?

As we tick away the last month or so of Pittsburgh's 250th year as a city, one has to ask if in another 250 years will we be celebarting 266 consecutive seasons of losing Pirates baseball?

Consumer spending last month reached its lowest point in 25 years, yet during the same month consumer confidence went up.  Can we now assume that we are confidently not spending our money?

Way back during the primary campaign, I said that I was proud to be a Democrat because of the field of Presidentioal candidates that we put forth and would have happily voted for many of them,and Barack Obama seems to be sharing that sentiment, choosing from that field his Vice President (Joe Biden), Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) and Secretary of Commerce (Bill Richardson). One is left to wonder how much John Edwards regrets fucking around on his cancer stricken wife as he probably would have been on the short list for Attorney General.

Enough of that already, I need to explain away the title to this blog at some point.  It all goes back to my fantasy sports teams.  First, I want to say that the fantasy football team lost this week, but still clinched one of the 6 playoff spots with an 8-4 overall record and with two games remaining I sit 1 game out of first place, with the last game of the season seeing me play the first place team.  All of a sudden, I am thinking a first round playoff bye may be in the offing for me.

As for hockey, well the losing and climbing continues, as I went 3-5-2 yet moved up a spot in the standings.  As for the title to this blog, it is a pun on an old investment firm commercial known as Paine Webber, where at the end of the commercial the person talking would say 'Thank you Paine Webber".  I had the same thought Sunday night from my defenseman Shea Weber, as I went into Sunday looking in bad shape, the week's record stood at 1-6-3 and all I had playing were two defensemen, including one Mr. Weber.  All he did was net two goals and an assist and move me from  1-6-3 to 3-5-2, a three point swing that moved me from finishing the week in 9th place overall, to finishing in 5th overall, so thank you, Shea Weber.

Okay, bedtime is fast approaching here, so I am going to call it a night and sit down with my iced tea and my book.  Remember kids, reading is fundamental.



Sunday, November 23, 2008

The promised blog

Well, I am all nestled in here, I have my tuna casserole crap I love to make, a 2 liter Pepsi by my side, and football on the TV.  No, I am not going to glog the game, though it is an important game for my fantasy team, as my opponent and I have the two quarterbacks that are playing tonight.  Instead, the football game will jsut be background noise.

Truth be told, given the number of sports stories and the fantasy suckiness of my hockey team, I could easily do a blog on nothing but sports, but I will pass on that, at least for the time being. 

I believe that piccies won on the poll, so it is piccies ye shall have.  Maybe with some commentary to boot.

We start with this, and you may wonder just what the hell this is.  Why it is a picture of the TV at work of course.  Isn't that how all good photo blogs begin,with a picture of a TV set?  No, well why the hell did I take the picture then.....





Because I happened to have my camera in my bag the other mornign, just as the price of oil fell below $50 dollars a barrel.  When you work at a business talk radio station and the economy sucks as bad as it does, it is the little things that spur excitement.  Okay, enough of the silliness, let's venture forth, shall we.



Our journey begins here, inside the bowels of the 67H Squirrel Hill bus.  There are many buses that I could have taken that would have gotten me downtown for Light Up Night, but this one is the closest to my apartment, and also it is the one that is almost never crowded.  I didn't want to venture into the heart of Oakland and try to catch something off of Fifth Avenue, because they were expecting anywhere between 100,000 and 200,000 people downtown for the festivities (though I should note, I didn't see nearly that many people), this way rather than be packed into a crowded bus, I am able to more than sprawl out, I could have had the entire back of the bus to myself to built a fort made out of blankets, but that would have required me to bring blankets, and I didn't do that.

Our first stop is the courtyard of the Allegheny County Courthouse.  Technically, I don't know if I am allowed in here, I am not an employee and I did sneak in through the auto entrance.  There was even a sherriff's car in the driveway, which I scooted around.  I assume he was there waiting for a guilty verdict or two to cart someone off to the pokey.  On the bright side,  I saw no stockings of coal under the tree for those who have been bad, so maybe, like my Karaoke Friday, they were opting to have Acquittal Friday.

Another tree, and this one is lit up, which I guess is a plus.  This one is in front of the City-County Building.  Anyone looking to get anything done from a government perspective visits here.  Then they proceed to stand around alot as the gears of government grind ever so slowly.





A quick shot of Mount Washington, to show that yes, there was some snow on the ground.  Not alot, just a little over a dusting, but here it is, a full month and change before winter begins and we have snow.  Also, it was quite chilly.  Not bone numbing cold, but the temps were down to the middle 20s as I was meandering about town.  That thing going up Mount Washington is the Monongahela Incline, one of two such inclines over there.  Futher down the river is the Duquense Incline, which I have snapped pictures from in the past, so I felt no need to repeat myself this evening.  Actually, there used to be a number of inclines in Pittsburgh, some were for people to get workers from their homes down to the mills on the river, others moved freight over the hills.  The Mon and Duquense Inclines are the only two that remain however.

This would be the tree at PPG place, the HQ of where all of the big stuff is going to happen.  The Christmas season is officially underway here when they flip the switch on this tree, but I arrived prior to that happening, so I got to snap a pic of the unlit tree to start things off.  When they flip the switch, the ice rink around the tree also opens for the winter season.  Usually the courtyard at PPG Place houses a fountain in summer, and when winter comes they switch it over to the Christmas tree and ice rink.

One of the displays at PPG Place was this, which actually was three display windows long and was all gingerbread houses.  I could have taken pictures of all three windows, but hey, it's not exactly warm out here and we have places to go and piccies to snap.





This is one of the many stages set up around town featuring Christmas carolers.  This one is in Market Square, there is also one back at PPG Place from whence we just came, there is also a stage over in front of Fifth Avenue Place, and a stage in front of Macy's, where the Salvation Army Band was playing.  Everytime I see the Salvation Army, my thoughts return to Christmas Eve a few years ago when my cousin Nathan received some army toys for Christmas, the typical stuff with the toy gun and grenades and what not.  He proceeded to start playing with his toys and when we asked him what he was doing, he said he was in the Salvation Army.  That still cracks me up, I don't know why.

Speaking of things that crack me up, this is entirely unrelated to anything I am doing here, biut I have often written about the stupidity of the local television news, in part because we simulcast one of the newcasts on the radio station weekdays from 5am-7am.  It is a most boring part of the day, and one can only hope for something stupid to happen in order to break up the monotany.  This past week was one such occasion.  A news story was being aired about a man who was going to commit suicide, so he disconnected the gas line to his home.  Apparently some friends decided to come over and check on him and when they arrived the house blew up, either injuring or killing them, I am not sure.  The odd thing was, the man who was trying to commit suicide apparently wasn't in the home at the time, or he was very lucky as he remained unscathed by the explosion.  What was the kicker though was when the local news anchor, Kelly Frey, was relaying the story and she opened it this way "A suicide attempt went horribly wrong when the man lived".  I shit you not, when I heard it I fell out of my chair laughing, as did Bill, who works overnights and heard it as well.  We were laughing for a good half hour afterward.

Okay, I better get back to work here.

Nothing screams Christmas like a fun house.  I think it was at this point all hopes of me getting in the holiday spirit were lost.  I could live with the booths of overpriced hot chocolate and coffee, hell I could even live with the snack booths that were offering pierogis, because they at least are a staple of a good Pittsburghers diet, but once I came upon the fun house, all hopes of Christmas spirit for this outing were pretty much dashed.


I tried to get my spirit back by visiting the carolers on the PPG stage, and while they were easy on the eyes in their skimpish Santa outfits, they were also way to young for yours truly, who still has a standard or two left, though not many.  That being said, my Christmas spirit was still pretty dulled, because for every scantily clad Christmas chick one could find, one could also find this.......


The portable Christmas mini gold course.  Nothing quite says Season's Greetings as trying to get the ball through the windmill.  This has about as much to do with Christmas as me telling you that I just checked my fantasy hockey team, and it looks like I went 3-5-2 this week.  The suckiness continues on that front.  Plus my quarterback just threw an interception.  All I need now if for one of my exes to call me just so we can break up all over again and the cosmic black hole of suck will firmly reside within the walls of my apartment. 

Okay, back to the blog.  This is part of the light display above the Port Authority's downtown offices.  Not the lavish corporate offices, but rather the place where you can go to buy bus passes, tcickets, get schedules and the like.  Of course you can also get that stuff in a number of different places around town, so I almost never visit there myself, I can get my bus pass much closer to my apartment.  But still, this display was along the way to my next destination, one of the very few places that are on my must see list during the holiday season.

The window at SW Randall Toys and Gifts.  Sure, there are bigger displays downtown, just down the street they are getting ready to unveil the holiday windows at Macy's (which I will pass on, because they are no longer Kaufmann's, Kaufmann's put a huge effort into their holiday windows, Macy's, not so much).  That being said, it is always the window here, with the music box music piped out through the speakers, and the appreciation of good toys inside, such as real train sets and actual collectors item stuffed animals, it is just a fun place to go and get lost for a while.

Look, they finally lit up the tree at PPG Place, I guess it is officially the holiday season now.  I don't know, it is still too early for me I guess.  I haven't bought anything, and I still have to escape the drudgery that is Thanksgiving first.  Thanksgiving is the holiday that I least look forward to, just because it used to be the extended family under one roof breaking bread, telling stories and just really enjoying each others company, but as the years pass that has changed, everyone has their own thing to do, whether that is with their more immediate family, or me, who will most likely spend the day working.  Whatever the reason, I still miss those old Thanksgivings and not having them is kind of depressing, Maybe my holiday funk will pass once we get passed Thursday, or maybe I should have shot a few holes of mini golf, who knows.

Look, a photo blog, and unlike the last one, I didn't ramble on for eons, just ages this time.  See, my brevity leaves you more time to ponder much greater things, as for me, I will just get ready for bed.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Stolen content - Now you know why they moan "Oh, God"

Joyous court climax for Madonna of Orgasm Church

Published: 19 Nov 08 14:32 CET

The Madonna of Orgasm Church (Orgasmens Madonnas kyrka) took an important step toward official recognition in Sweden last week when a court ruled it had the right to be registered as a faith community.


Originally, the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (Kammarkollegiet) had refused the church’s registration application on the grounds that its name may offend Christians.

But the church’s founder, artist Carlos Bebeacua from Lövestad in southern Sweden, won his appeal to the county administrative court.

If the agency does not appeal the court’s decision within three weeks, then it must process Bebeacua’s application to register the church, which he founded in the early 1990s.

According to the Skånska Dagbladet newspaper, the idea for the church came to Bebeacua, who is the church’s self-appointed cardinal, after a painting of his entitled 'The Madonna of Orgasm' sparked protests requiring police action during the 1992 World’s Fair in Seville, Spain.

“The orgasm is God, the orgasm should be worshiped,” Bebeacua told the Kvällsposten newspaper.

“The orgasm is the ultimate feeling of lust, it shouldn’t be limited to ejaculation. You can reach it through art or by looking at a landscape and thinking ‘Wow!’”

According to Bebeacua, the church has a few hundred followers, and he hopes that registering the Madonna of Orgasm Church will get more people to consider the orgasm as God.

The church only has priestesses and its scriptures are called the Catechism of the Orgasm. The only gospel peached is the gospel of sex.

“It’s so we do what we know is right and good,” Bebeacua told Kvällsposten.

During ceremonies, the priestesses read verses and eat fruit and drink juice. Sex isn’t the focus, but it’s not forbidden either.

“It’s never happened. I don’t know how we’d react if it happened,” said Bebeacua.

He deflects allegations that his church is all about orgies and sex, claiming its purpose is to help people see orgasms as a metaphor for a love of life.

“There’s nothing dangerous in what we say, we’re harmless. It’s just that we have our doubts about established religions,” he told the TT news agency.

More game geekiness

In radio speak, there are two things one looks for by and large when evaluating an audience, one is the size of the audience, the overall number of people listening to whatever it is you are broadcasting.  The other we call the TSL, which is time spent listening.  A large audience that hangs out for only a couple of minutes isn't necessarily better than a medium size audience that will be with you through a few commercial breaks.  That being said, I know the numbers of views to this page aren't incredibly large, so I have to work on the TSLs of the ones that are here.  Quick, I need a gimmick.......




More Games at | Cool Generators

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pick your poison

Tomorrow's blog should be?

Standard blog

Blunt Force Trauma

Ask Matt Anything

Photo blog

Okay, we know that at some point I will have to post a Karaoke Friday blog, one would hope it would be on Friday, but one never knows.  That being said, I need to do another entry tomorrow as well, but I am not sure what I should do.  Care to help?

I could do....

1) Standard blog, complete with witty comments from me, as most of my entries are prone to have

2) Blunt Force Trauma - I will be honest, the current Asshat almost turned into one of these, but still, it has been a few moons since the last BFT

3) Ask Matt Anything - Hey, there won't be an election getting in the way this time, hopefully no Multiply tweakage either.

4) Photo blog - Tomorrow is Light Up Night in the City of Pittsburgh, so I could fire up ye olde camera and wander the streets downtown whilst freezing my nuts off in the wind and snow.

Hey, it's democracy in action, so do what they do in any good democracy, vote early and often.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Asshat - The Big Three

The Asshat this week is given to the Big Three automakers (GM, Ford, Chrysler), not for begging for money, which is actually taking place this week, but for something they said last week, which needs to be corrected.  They argued that "1 in 10 jobs in America is connected to the auto industry."  That may be the case, but that doesn't mean those jobs are reliant on the Big Three.  Prime example, they sight the number of auto dealerships that currently sell their cars.  Well that is all good and true, that doesn't mean that those dealerships couldn't opt to sell other cars should the Big Three collapse, and given the crap that is currently being made in Detroit, relying on just selling cars made there may put auto dealers out of work anyway.   Likewise, just how many of those jobs that rely on the auto industry actually rely solely on Detroit for their survival?  Gas stations?  It's not like cars will quit running on gas anytime soon, whether those cars come from Kentucky or Korea.  Mechanics?  Chances are as long as their are cars, there will be people needed to fix them.  Auto parts makers?  So they will have to make parts for foreign cars as opposed to domestic, the actual number of cars on the road isn't going to change, just the manufacturers of them.  In truth, many of the jobs that the Big Three say are connected to the auto industry are definitely connected, just not entirely to Detroit.

The Big Three need to just be honest about what they are, which is beggars looking to sup at the public trough, and while I can't offer them any money so to speak I can offer them the Asshat of the Week, as it is richly deserved.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday, Sunday

Greetings from work.  I know, I haven't been in the habit of blogging from here while I am on duty, but I felt a change of pace was in order.  I haven't been here all that long, probably less than 30 minutes and already I have printed up a commercial fed sheet for the Alan Colmes Show that I needed, ran off a copy of Scott's log for his show coming up in 45 minutes, set up the system to record the first part of Scott's show, as he has an advertiser that wants a copy of a live read he does emailed to them, started burning next week's Lutheran Hour into the system, got Talkshoe running for Jane's show, which I am currently producing and made a run at fixing the coffee machine, all in 30 minutes or less, or your next pizza is free.  See, I really do work on Sundays.

Actually, part of the reason I started this entry is that it is going to be a long day, or day and night and day as the case may be.  Carol is off again this week, so I am fending for myself, which on Sunday means it is far better for me to just stay here overnight than try to go home and come back in again.  I left myself enough production work that that really shouldn't be a problem.  Actually, they changed the hours of Ron's show in the afternnon during the week, it now starts at 2pm as opposed to 3pm, which just means I have an hour less time in the production room than I would normally have.  So I got what was needed to get done last week and saved the rest for today.  Since it is Sunday and the 16th at that, I can pile all of the hours up at the beginning of the week and bill the station for more overtime, as our pay period ends on the 15th, this will be a full week on the next pay period.

Allow me to explain the method of pay that we have here, if I havenm't already.  Our pay periods end on the 15th and the end of every month.  That being said, now that I am again allowed to fill out time sheets, when doing a sheet, we do them not by hours worked per pay period, but by hours worked per week, so if I work 50 hours in a week, I get overtime, but if the pay period ends in the middle of a week, then I only get credit for the half week that week, which means on some pay periods, you will start in the middle of a week, then log a full week, then log another half week.  You don't get to add the two half weeks together, even if they would amount to more than 40 hours, you only get overtime if you work 40 hours in a specific week, so it is entirely plausible to have a pay period where you could work for 100+ hours and not qualify for overtime.  From a business perspective, I assume it is a clever way of getting around paying OT, from an employee perspective, it sucks ass.

Soi far I have screened 3 calls in the first half of Jane's show here.  Jane does a show called Garden Talk, and I can't imagine how long she and Scott who is coming up in less than 30 minutes have been on radio in Pittsburgh.  We picked them both up when we went from a sports station to a talk station and have had them on weekends, either Saturday or Sunday ever since.   Mind you they were on a station that used to be a talk station before us, but when we flipped to talk was the same time that they flipped to sports, so many of their hosts were left without a home, including Lynn and Doug at the time as well as Jane and Scott.  Okay, enough background stuff, the odd thing is, since they moved Jane's show to Sundays after the most recent format flip, from talk to business talk, calls have been few and far between.  As I look out my window, I see the snow falling (thankfully it isn't laying yet) and yet now we are getting calls on gardening of all things.

Scott's show has fared better, at least caller wise since the flip.  Heck, he set a record for calls he took in his show just a couple of weeks ago.  Mind you, it isn't national talk show type numbers, but getting 33 people to call in in a  two hour show on Birds and Nature is pretty impressive in my book.

Check that, calls 4 and 5 for Jane are on hold now.  Lots of pruning questions and caring for plants in winter.  You would think when it is 30 some degrees outside gardening wouldn't be an issue, but it seems to be today is just the opposite.

I would say that the interest in these shows is due to my extraordinary producing ability, but that most likely isn't the case.  Apparently I am better at this thing that I thought though, as the host of the financial show I am producing twice a week now (Tuesday and Thursday 8am-9am) recently had lunch with our program director and general manager and praised my work that I have done for them.  Mind you, at some of the other stations they have bought time for their show, they had people who couldn't even work a board or worse, they actually had a show where nobody even showed up to run the thing, so I don't know if it is my skill set that has impressed them so much, or if the bar has been set so low that literally anyone could step over it.

I just realized that I am being really long winded today.  Sorry, caller #6 is on hold.  What the hell?  Did I wake up in bizarro world where I am expected to do my job or something?  Usually I can spend at least Jane's show getting a couple of side projects done, so far the only things I have gotten done since the show has started is this much of the blog and I managed to label and send the Lutheran Hour track that I ripped off of CD into the automation system, so it is ready to go for next Sunday. 

Sorry, I ducked away for a second.  Nothing major, but I wanted to see if any more bits from a feature we carry, Bloomberg Boot Camp had been posted online so I could record them today.  BBC is a two minute feature that runs once a day during the week and basically it is tech gadget type news, one minute techies stuff, one minute commercial.  Because they don't have to be timely, usually they post them about a week in advance, but when I had left on Friday, only Monday through Wednesday had been posted for this week, so I wanted to check and see if Thursday and Friday had been posted after I left.  No such luck.I would have liked to have that done today as one of my projects for my overly long shift, but I guess that will have to wait.

Wow, Jane's show is done that means I have three minutes to change everything around.  I have to log out of Talkshoe then relog in, which involves both a phone line and the  Talkshoe website, start rolling tape on Scott's show so I can capture the live read audio that his advertiser wants,  set up the break to run after the news and realize that I just made at least half a dozen typos while telling you that.  Wonder Twin Powers activate, shape of a chimp, form of a typewriter, and lo and behold it's Shakespeare.  Kudos to the two poeple in the room that got that convoluted reference, unless Zan and Jana are reading, then the total would be up to 4.

Call #1 for Scott is on hold,  Actually, his show will be a little different today, he has two taped interviews in the second hour, so I will not be screening any calls then, instead I will be doing other stuff, including taking a cigarette break 30 minutes ahead of schedule.

Coffee update, I don't know what is wrong with the machine, but I managed to get coffee out of it, not great coffee mind you, but coffee nonetheless.  The sugar embargo continues at work, right now we have some, but it will run out in the next day or so, then we will once again be at the mercy of management whether or not we will be blessed with the glorified sweetener, or be forced to suffer without.  I continue my silent protest of using two coffee stirrers as opposed to one for each cup until the embargo is lifted.  Power to the people and all that jazz.

I did mention that Lynn and I had lunch the other day, we got to do some catching up.  I didn't post where we are going simply because if someone were to read this and take it upon themselves to show up unannounced, I would have felt like a complete idiot.  There are some precautions I take when it comes to the internet and privacy, that was one of them.  Sure I will post my address, because I don't care about things regarding me all that much, if I did, I wouldn't have Ask Matt Anything blogs, but when the issue involves the privacy of others, clamming up is the rule du jour.  That being said, I could have told you all, because we ended up going someplace else, to the William Penn Tavern and it was my first visit to the place. 

Sorry about that, calls 2,3 and 4 are now on hold.  I better take a break from this for a while, I think I might have to do my job here.  Imagine that, I am at work and I actually think I should be working, will wonders never cease?

Back again, not that I am not still woprking on Scott's show, but we are into the taped interview portion of the program.  Apparently Scott's daughter attends Cornell University, where she plays basketball and they are in Pittsburgh today to play the Duquense women's team, so he wanted to duck out to see his daughter play.  That's cool with me, it gives me more of a chance to work on this.

As I was saying, Lynn changed plans and opted for the William Penn Tavern.  I had picked the last time, so she picked this time.  Originally we had planned on China Palace, the same place Phil and I went to just a couple of weeks ago, but Lynn, like many women I know, changed her mind.  Cool with me, I can eat bar food as well as anyone.  Actually, I ended up with a really good andouille sauasage sandwich with grilled green peppers and onions.  Most delish.  And the conversation was pretty good too, I got a better handle on the offers she is entertaining.  Neither of which offer a producer, though one does offer a board op to help out.


Sorry about that, but work got in the way of blogging again.  Even now, at almost 10:30pm, almost 11hours after I started I am still technically working.  Right now I am putting a second Lutheran Hour into the system.  Because our ripping system only allows us to put in one cut per cart number, I can't rip this into the system, I have to put it in in real time, which will eat up about 30 minutes and allow me to work on this a little more.  I actually got quite a bit done, 1 Lou Dobbs report, 5 Clark Howard Minutes, 15 Bloomberg Market Minutes, 2 Lutheran Hours, 12 Matrix spots, 5 Daily Aardvarks, 5 MJI MF 5s (which we conveniently call MJI Mother Fuckers), 75 Alan Colmes spots, and 16 Clark Howard Spots, one audio dub for a client (Songbird Sanctuary) and updated one of my cue sheets I use for recording spots.  Not too shabby if I do say so myself. 

Before work so rudely interrupted me I was talking about lunch with Lynn.  Anyway, she asked that if she does land a show if I would like to be her producer.  It is certainly something to mull over, I know I would like to do it, but at the same time, I don't know if I can work this job around whatever I would do for her.  Don't get me wrong, I would like nothing more than  to be back in the saddle again, so to speak, but at the same time if I did work for her, the expense would be coming out of her pocket, and I know I couldn't live on just working for her, nor would I expect working for her to pay what I am making at my full time gig (as paltry a sum as that is), so it would be a matter of juggling the two and whether I could do both.  Then again, all may fall through and she may not be back on the radio at all, so I don't want to get too far ahead of myself just yet.  I guess I will deal with that potential problem when the time comes.

I am glad I didn't listen to any sports talk after the Steelers game today.  I can imagine it was full of pissed off people.  Not that the Steelers lost, in fact they won, 11-10 by kicking a field goal with 15 seconds remaining in the game.  But what happened after that is what will have people bitching this week.  On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, San Diego tried the old "lateral the ball all over the place" gimmick that works once in a blue moon, but was all they had left to try as the clock was running, so they probably wouldn't have had time for another  play, and they had no timeouts left.  Anyway, one lateral went off without a hitch and just as the ball carrier was about to be tackled, he tried lateralling to another teammate but Troy Palomalu jumped in betwen the two players and scooped up the ball and ran for what was an apparent touchdown with no time remaining.  Ther referees ruled that one of the laterals was an illegal forward pass, though replay shows that it clearly wasn't.  Now you may ask, what does it matter, Pittsburgh would have won the game anyway, whether they got credit for the touchdown and potential extra point for an 18-10 win, or an 11-10 win.  Truth be told, to the Steelers it doesn't matter all that much, points scored are somewhere around 7th in the list of tiebreakers, should a tiebreaker be needed to decide anything come playoff time.  Where it does matter however is for those people that gambled on the game, as Pittsburgh was a 4.5 point favorite at kickoff, so the touchdown or lack thereof did affect the outcome of quite a few wagers out there, and truth be told it also affected quite a few fantasy football leagues as well, including mine where those 6 points would have come in handy as they would have cut into my opponents score (his defense (San Diego) would be credited with giving up 18 points as opposed to 11, meaning the call cost me probably 3 fantasy points with our scoring system), and those people that play in IDP leagues (Individual Defensive Player, as opposed to team defense) and had Troy as one of their defensive players would have lost a bunch of points as defensive player TDs are very hard to come byand are usually rewarded quite handsomely.

Damn, I am a prattling machine, and on the most boring of topics to boot.  Well, any questions about what I just typed can be saved for the next Ask Matt Anything, date and time to be determined, the only thing definite is the place.

My second Lutheran Hour is complete, and I think that is all of the work I am going to do this evening.  If I am going to be working overnight all week, no sense piling everything into one day.  I have plenty of other things I can do, like make something to eat, though I just had a TV dinner (management hasn't rationed the electricity to the microwave, yet), so I am not all that hungry.  I did bring some DVDs from home and I have another book that I started reading the other day ("The Urban Hermit") that was going to be tossed out here at work before I snagged it and starting reading it, simply because it is cheaper than buying books, and it turns out that it isn't all that bad.  The number of books passing through my hands here has shrunken greatly, I can't be requesting review copies of books when we have no one to interview the authors.  I have to rely on blind luck that publishers just send us books in hopes of getting their author interviewed and not knowing that I can do nothing to help them.  Either that or I have to go get a library card, because I can't be dropping cash on myself during the holiday season, I have to be more frugal than that.  My mom just called my house today while I was at work to talk about Christmas.  Oh the humanity, I haven't even contemplated starting my shopping yet, let alone making holiday plans. 



I may have to rename this blog entry Monday, Monday, since technically we have passed midnight.  I spent some time working on my Pogo badges, though Freecell may not get done this week.  I also took a quick peek at my fantasy hockey team, and while the nuimbers aren't finalized yet, I am going to be happy if I win 3 games, as I did very little today to help myself.  I have a better chance in fantasy football, compliments of decent games from Peyton Manning, Steve Slaton and the Philadelphia defense.  Still, a win isn't a win until the computer tells me so, and I know my opponent still has a couple of guys playing Monday night. 

The flurries are still flying outside, they have been pretty much all day now.  Nothing on the ground, so they are just more of an annoyance than anything else, a reminder that colder weather is yet to come, and I can do without colder weather, thank you very much. 

One good thing about being at work this late is I am reminded of why I don't need cable TV.  I am flipping through the channels here and VH1 has "The Pickup Artist" on, and the guy hosting the show is some no name dirtbag dressed up like an assclown.  We are definitely losing the war on stupidity here.  Thankfully I can go take a nap and read my book, which seems like a good plan right about now, since I have to be back up in a few hours.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Karaoke Friday - Saturday edition

Yeah I should have posted this yesterday, no need to remind me, I get it already.  But between lunch with Lynn and weeding through quite a few options video wise last night, I opted to lay down and next thing I knew it was saturday.  Since I was already late, I figured I would get to this later in the day, and went about doing other things.  Anyway, I am back now and I better get this posted before it becomes the Karaoke Friday - Saturday edition posted on Sunday.



Lyrics | Face To Face - Debt lyrics

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pittsburgh Penguins - A Great Day For Hockey 2008

2008 Pittsburgh Penguins Promotional Video

Stolen Content - Not fixing what is broken

Detroit must die

American cars are still uniformly god-awful. Why save them?

Friday, November 14, 2008

This is what I think whenever I see someone plodding along the freeway or struggling through the city streets in some older and terminally bland or even brand new and yet still terminally bland Malibu or Cobalt or Taurus, Sebring or Nitro or Mustang or Corvette or Neon or hell, almost any car from any American manufacturer whatsoever...

I think: Oh, you poor thing. I think: Do you not have any friends? Did no one tell you? Have you not yet heard of this crazy thing called the Interweb? Did you not even bother to do ten minutes of research and comparison shopping before you purchased that squeaky, ill-built lump of misfit steel and crude design, homework which would've instantly revealed to you what even the most amateur automotive buff knows the instant she becomes a fan of quality engineering and design refinement and, you know, basic drivability?

This is what you would've learned: that American cars are, to this very day, still uniformly awful. Or if they're not awful, they're just passably mediocre. And your money would be oh so much better spent on German or Japanese or even Korean. I'm so sorry about your urine-yellow Chevy Aveo. Here, have my parking space.

You might disagree. You might say, hey wait a minute, not all American cars are as dreadful and ill-equipped as Sarah Palin at a science fair. There are a few exceptions, a few gems among the dirt clods.

Like the new... um, the Ford, uh, what was it again? Right. The Flex (that's not a car, but whatever). And hey, the new Fiesta is supposed to be hot, because they brought it over from Europe -- aka "land of wonderful, efficient, well-designed little cars we almost never see." And wasn't that big pseudo-gangster slab, the Chrysler 300, sort of cool about five years ago? Sure it was.

And you're right. Those cars are exactly that, exceptions. Rarities. Flukes. The truth is, American cars haven't been interesting or exceptional in decades. When it comes to small and efficient, there isn't a single truly desirable American car on the road today. And innovation? Dear God. The last new idea a U.S. manufacturer had was sticking a mini fridge under the seat of the Caravan. Neato.

And now here's the other thing I think when I hear that the bloated American auto industry is on the verge of complete collapse, failure, bankruptcy, that the Big Three -- Ford, GM, Chrysler -- are losing billions hand over tailpipe, and that Obama and Nancy Pelosi are right now considering shoveling many billions into their voracious maws to try and keep them afloat for a while longer, just so they can keep producing crap no one really wants.

I think: Are you kidding me? We have a chance to let this fat, lazy, top-heavy, SUV-glutted industry implode like it so very much deserves, and we might not take it? I think: What an opportunity. We could begin to reinvent the American automobile starting next week, and we might instead keep the old ways alive simply because the Big Three were too stupid and greedy to see past their gross SUV sales figures for the past 25 years? Come on.

Look. You are free to reminisce all you like about some hazy, throbbing, "American Graffiti"-tinted golden era of American cars, all about Steve McQueen and 'Cudas and '67 Mustangs and peeling out in the high school parking lot. Knock yourself out. But the truth is, this economic crisis might be our best chance yet to wipe the flabby, useless U.S. transportation slate clean and begin anew, armed with a whole new set of tools American auto manufacturing has never used before: efficiency, ingenuity, agility. Can you imagine?

I realize I am no economist. I fully understand there might be reasons far larger and more fiscally complicated to justify keeping the Big Three alive for awhile longer, simply because, like AIG, so many billions are wrapped up in their operations and in the various supply chains that support them, to let them all fail nearly simultaneously could rip a hole in our sinking ship of state far larger and more dangerous than the one that results from letting them suffer and die slowly, bleeding billions all the way.

What's more, I'm also not so heartless to ignore the brutal job losses, the tens of thousands of collapsed pension plans and failed retirement accounts that would result from the end of American auto industry. It would be horrible indeed. But maybe that's where the government's billions would be far more useful, to ease the meltdown and provide retraining.

(I am also urged to note that the enormous, overstuffed UAW isn't exactly a saint, either, and that a large part of the responsibility for Big Auto's lack of innovation and change lo these past decades rests squarely on its petulant shoulders, too. You can't blame all the ills of American auto on the greedy CEOs and their shortsighted accountants. Just most of them.)

Here's the upshot: The American auto market is the biggest in the world. Our near-religious adoration of cars isn't vanishing anytime soon. There are hundreds of billions of dollars still to be made. Let prehistoric Big Auto die now, put the old, tired, sickly circus elephant out of its misery, and watch what happens.

Innovation would skyrocket. Entrepreneurs would flood in. New and pioneering car companies -- or better yet, radical new ideas for urban human transport -- would flourish. New jobs would be created almost instantly. Those supply chains wouldn't vanish, they'd adapt. The American auto industry would convulse, struggle, acclimate, reinvent itself anew.

Hell, even most Republicans agree on this: You don't bail out lousy, overweight companies who've been dumping bad ideas on us since the Carter administration. Let the free market pull the trigger, and move on.

Yes, it might take awhile -- ten or twenty years, even -- before we'd see anything resembling a tolerable American vehicle that could compete with Toyota's manufacturing genius, Honda's simple quality, or any of the Germans' astonishing refinement or cool sex appeal. So what? Meantime, we'd all have to suffer driving Minis and Audis and Honda Fits while America figures out how to be ingenious and competitive again? Gosh, how horrible.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Everything I touch turns to goaltenders

We start today's entry with a little fantasy hockey story.  Those that have been with me for a little while rmight remember back to my fantasy hockey draft.  For those that haven't, I am sorry to disappoint you, but I am not going to rehash the entire entry, suffice it to say that coming out of the draft I had three goaltenders with which I was pretty happy, Martin Brodeur, Manny Legace and Martin Biron.  Going in reverse order, Biron got off to an awful start this year, going from a starting goaltender to being in a platoon situation where it is a 50-50 chance that he will start on any given night.  That might be okay for some, but if I am only going to get a 50-50 chance at a start, I will opt for a better goaltender, so I cut him and signed Nikolai Khababulin, another goaltender in a platoon situation, but for the Chicago Blackhawks, and his numbers seemed to be better than Biron's.  Next up was Legace and I have covered previously what happened to him, tripping on a carpet rolled out for Sarah Palin and ending up on the disabled list for a couple of weeks as a result.  That lead to the signing of Alex Auld to fill his place while out.  Just when it seemed my run of goaltender bad luck would end, Martin Brodeur, who I drafted in the first round, tears a muscle in his arm and is out for 3 to 4 months.  Can I wave the white flag of goaltender surrender yet?

Okay, that out of the way, lets get to the meat of the blog entry shall we.  Fantasy hockey, I went 4-5-1 last week, the overall record after 50 games is 24-20-6, and amazingly, despite having a losing week, I moved up from 4th to 3rd place overall.  Of course this week I have the first place team, with my slew of wounded goaltenders in tow as I try to stop three straight weeks of .500 or lower hockey. 

At least I am doing better than I expected in football, where I rolled up another win and now sit with a comfy 7-3 record.  With just 4 weeks left in the regular season, I have a three game lead over 6th place, and the top 6 teams make the playoffs, so all is looking up there.  Actually, I am only 1 game out of first, as two teams are 8-2 overall and the top two records receive a bye in the first round of the playoffs.  That would be nice, but I will be content with just qualifying for now.

Life has been pretty much same old same round these parts, save for me giving up the part time job, at least for the time being.  There was just something about spending almost as much time traveling to and from work as actually working that didn't fit into my schedule all that well.  They told me if I wanted i could reapply for my job, but I haven't as of yet.  I may at some point, but I would rather find something a little closer to my apartment.  I realize that it isn't the most opportune time to be job huntng, but I'll roll the dice and take my chances.  Worst case scenario, I could always go back, and the work wasn't terrible, just the travel to and fro.

The extra time in my schedule does mean that I will get to lunch with Lynn tomorrow.  We have seen each other a handful of times since the station let her go, and have been in touch via email about once or twice a week, but this will be the first time we have gotten to sit down and blab since the election, which should make for some interesting conversation.  Plus I know she has something in the works about getting a new show, though it is still in the haggling stage, so I don't want to go into too many details and jinx it.  Suffice it to say, there are a couple of options that she can explore.

Sorry, took a break there.  Yahoo has the Penguins game on tonight, so I was watching the first period of the hockey game, and while that was going on I went ahead and made some iced tea, which is currently chilling in the fridge. 

I haven't been by the Neverending blog recently, but I will say I just finished a pretty funny book called "Death: A Life" which is supposed to be an autobiography of the entity known as Death.  I saw it the other day when I was going all Barnes & Noble-y and bookstores are like bakeries to me, I can press my nose against the glass and just salivate.  After convincing myself that I could only have one book, it became a tossup betwen that and another Andrew Vachss.  Not that Vachss would have been a bad choice, but I think I did pretty well for myself.

I am still saving my soda caps.  I am actually trying to get back up to at least 90 points in Pepsi, as there giveaways are ending in December, and the goodies I am eying are 90 points or more.  Coke isn't ending any time soon that I am aware of, and I am torn between buying new music or doing another giveaway on here.  I am not sure if anyone grabbed the last prize (free month of Gamefly), so I am wary of putting a prize out there that is unclaimed.  I have an idea of what to select also, and I think it would be a rather cool prize, but just the same, I haven't added any free music in ages, the last thing I redeemed from either Coke or Pepsi was the Ric Flair DVD from Pepsi, and that wiped out a good portion of that account, though I must admit it was well worth it.

I have had occasion recently to run into Poe's Law, and if anything goes to show just how damned stupid the electorate is, it is this.  A brief definition of Poe is in order, so here it is - Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.  The reason I have been running into Poe is that I have been posting the stuff from the Red State Update guys from time to time, as I am sure you are aware.  As funny as I think they are (and I will admit I find them pretty damn funny) if you go to Youtube and actually read the comments some morons post with those videos, they think that Jackie and Dunlap are serious.  What is truly scary is I am quite sure some of these idiots spend part of their time breeding future idiots to take their place.  Forget radical Islam as being a threat, it is radical stupidity that must be stopped.

Well, took another break to watch the second period, and after two periods of hockey, I am afraid to watch the third.  While I won't get all gloggy on you, suffice it to say, Pittsburgh was leading 3-0, and managed to give up four consecutive goals, including two while they had the man advantage and they now trail 4-3.  How in the hell do you give up two short handed goals in one game let alone one period?  What is worse was that on one of them, despite having 5 guys to Philadelphia's 4 on the ice, they gave up a three on one breakaway.  That is damn near mathematically impossible.

Anyway, I took time from the here to make some dinner also, just some quickie tuna casserole crap.  Nothing fancy, but then I am only cooking for one, fancy isn't required. 

I usually watch The Office if I am home Thursday nights, one of the few TV programs I will watch, and if I am being lazy I will just leave the channel on as the rest of the lineup pipes through on Thursday night, which brings me to 'ER".  I'll admit, I kinda used sorta liked the show in the "it ain't that bad" way, but now it is just sad.  It is like waiting for Old Yeller to be put down, they are so sad now they are bringing back dead characters (paging zombie Dr. Green, paging zombie Dr. Green) just to get people to tune in.  When your show reaches that point, just pull the fucking plug on it already.  It would be like having "Leave it to Beaver" still on TV.  Actually that show would be better if it were on TV now. I can imagine Ward sitting at the dinner table, with his face hidden behind the daily newspaper just wondering what kind of drugs he was on when he named his son Wally, and even worse, named his youngest son after a sex toy.  What else could a Beaver Cleaver be after all? And why the hell are his kids still in the house, don't they have lives?  Then again, try picking up women when your names are Wally and Beaver and you can understand why they still live in their parent's basement.  Meanwhile June has to be thinking to herself, why must I always be so understanding to these people?  Why can't I just once slap the spit out of their mouths when they get into another mess?  Just how stupid are they, it's been what, 40 some odd years and they are still pulling inane shit.  Come to think of it, I would like that show better than "ER" at this point, as long as they don't have a guest appearance by zombie Dr. Green.

Took time out again for the third period, we are now tied 4-4 going to OT.  I swear it seems like every game the Penguins play ends up going to overtime.  I can't remember the last time they won in regulation.  Just as I type that the announcers say it's the 8th time the Penguins have played an OT game already this season.

With nothing decided in OT we go to a shootout.  Man, I have to quit staying up for these games.  Especially with a busy day on tap for tomorrow.  And after 6 rounds of shootout action, the Pens win 5-4.  I hope when they post video highlights, they get some closeups on the saves in the shootout, because both goaltenders were really good.

Anyway, I have been tinkering with the Pogo badges, got the Greenback Bayou one done, but I have barely started Freecell Solitaire.  I have tinkered with the new Yahtzee game, I am up to level 5 or so.  Good game for getting tokens, but getting spins, which is what you need to advance  can be tough.  Personally I found it harder with wilds than without, but that could just be me. 

Oh well, I think it is bedtime for me, time to have a glass of iced tea and call it an evening.  I have been wondering when I should do another Ask Matt Anything, I think I will hold off a while.  I don't want to become dependent on them for blog content. So I gues there is still plenty of time to think up new questions.  There is also plenty of time for me to think up new answers.  Anyway, time for me to scoot.


One more, then a real blog entry

I am starting to get uip the energy for a decent missive on this here page, the problem being that I am again at work and missiveness is prohibited here, so instead I leave you with this.....



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting bonuses

Thanks to the CSM for the tip......

Vote and get free coffee, donuts and a felony???

By Jimmy Orr | 11.04.08

If having your say in who will be the 44th President of the United States isn’t incentive enough to get out and vote, then how about free Starbucks coffee, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, or Ben and Jerry’s ice cream?

These companies and many more across the nation are offering freebies just for being patriotic.

Free stuff

Not in the Joe Biden “be a patriot” way.  But, at Starbucks, just for saying you voted.  For Krispy Kreme — all you have to do is wear an “I voted” sticker.

It’s even simpler at Ben and Jerry’s.   The two step process is:  1)  Show up.  2)  Have a pulse.

It makes you want to break out and sing Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy” - doesn’t it?


Well, not so fast.   Seems there are legal restrictions afoot.

Take the State of Georgia where the motto is “Wisdom, Justice and Moderation.”

Requiring someone to say they voted in order to receive a free coffee - that’s a felony.

Here’s the Georgia state law:

“Any person who gives or receives, or offers to give or receive, or participates in the giving or receiving of money or gifts for the purpose of registering as a voter, voting, or voting for a particular candidate in any primary or election shall be guilty of a felony.”

Get out of jail free card

No word if an individual would get the electric chair upon conviction.  But thankfully Starbucks and Krispy Kreme have modified the promotion so you aren’t required to break the law in order to get free stuff.

“To ensure we are in compliance with election law, we are extending our offer to all customers who request a tall brewed coffee,” said Starbucks’ spokeswoman Tara Darrow.

Asshat - Evolution Happens

Sadly we can't name this week's Asshat, his name hasn't been released, but we can tell the quick story.  Man goes hunting without a license or a permit needed for the ammunition.  Man shoots goose and in the process of fetching said goose, trip, falls and shoots his own arm, which leads to a trip to the hospital and getting charged for breaking the law.   Added bonus, he hails from the town of Darwin.  Wholesome goodness, that would be here

Monday, November 3, 2008

Weekend update and Steelers-Redskins glog

You'll have to excuse me while I get settled in here. There is a football game coming up so I had to make sure that I was prepared for tonight's festivities, so I made me a gallon of iced tea and a couple of chicken quesadillas and I think I am just about ready to go.

The game hasn't started yet, so a few orders of business to get out of the way, a reminder that tomorrow is election day so get off your ass and vote and then get your ass back here tomorrow night for Ask Matt Anything #2 (Electric Boogaloo), an election night special featuring yours truly and at least one question from the audience, only because it has already been posted. Also, as time permits, we will drop in some election results as well. All in all, it should be a good time had by all. That is tomorrow at 8pm EST and a few blogs back. don't worry, I will type something in it to get it to pop to the top of your updates.

Pogo was good to me this week, 5 badges so far, the 4 challenges, plus I picked up the level 20 badge in Poppit. I am trying to close out Kenopop, less than 500 numbers to go to get the last level badge at 50. I want to have it done in time for the debut of the new Yahtzee game coming to Pogo.

Fantasy sports teams did okay, a win in football to push the record to 6-3 and while a bad week in hockey (I went 3-6-1) the overall record is 20-15-5, good for 4th place and I think the moves I made the second half of the week make my team better. I have one more move pending, hopefully it will clear waivers. If it does, I am probably a decent defenseman away from having my team exactly where I like it. I dangled out some trade bait to see if it couldn't get me one, if not, I know who I want off of the free agent wire. And yes, Satan is still on my side, he leads the Penguins with 6 goals and just had a game against St Louis on Saturday where he picked up a goal and two assists for me.

My phone is ringing but I refuse to answer it. It is probably a robo call for Tuesday, I have already heard the robo call from Hillary Clinton, Ed Rendell (the Pennsylvania governor, for those not in the know), and Barack Obama. Apparently I am not worthy of a Republican call, but then again, maybe the fact I am a registered Democrat they have already given up on me. Anyone contemplating a move any time in the near future, might I suggest you do not move to one of the so called 'battleground states" unless you like the robo call sort of thing. The smartest thing to do is just take your phone off of the hook for the last month of the campaign.

The quesadillas are eh. I have made better, but I wasn't in the mood to play tonight, so it is just shredded cheese and canned chicken fried in flour tortillas.

Okay, we are coming up on game time here. In case you were wondering, it is the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) versus the Washington Redskins (6-2) in Monday Night Football. As a bonus, Chris Berman will interview both Presidential candidiates at halftime. You really just can't escape these two leadng up to tomorrow's voting. And I have to wonder why Chris Berman, who's major claim to fame is coming up with clever nicknames for the players while doing highlight packages, is somehow worthy of getting the job of interviewing these two. Maybe he has some hidden talent that I am unaware of, but I can honestly say I have never seen him conduct an interview with a sports figure, let alone do a serious sit down with a newsmaker. This can't possibly be good.

I am not much of a fan of the Monday Night broadcast crew to be honest. As much as I rip on Al and John on Sunday nights, Tony Kornheiser is worse. He is a decent writer for the Washington Post, but I am just not sold on him in the booth.

Okay, while they get ready to have the opening kickoff, I am going to open my Sportsline browser, just in case they catch something I miss. A quick peek at the hockey scores and nothing of help so far tonight, though I am thinking I should have picked up the defenseman off of the free agent list I wanted, as he has an assist.

Pittsburgh kicks off to Washington and tries an onside kick, which fails, and worse, they were offsides giving Washington a bonus 5 yards, so they start from the Steelers 35 yard line.

Washington gets 9 yards on its first three plays, bringing up a 4th and 1 and they are going to opt for the field goal attempt and the 44 yarder is good and Washington has a 3-0 lead.

Washington lines up to kick to Pittsburgh and unlike Pittsburgh, no gimmicks here, they kick away and Pittsburgh returns it to their own 30 yard line.

Two plays and Pittsburgh has yet to gain a yard, bringing up 3rd and 10 and on third down Ben Roethlisberger has his pass batted up in the air at the line and it ends up being intercepted by the Cornelius Griffin, so Washington gets the ball back again in Steeler territory, this time at the 30 yard line.

Again the Steelers hold for a three and out, but the out will be another field goal attempt and it too is good and Washington has an early 6-0 lead.

By the way, I would like to thank Toyota for ruining a perfectly good song by The Fixx, just what I want to hear on a car spot, "Saved By Zero" butchered.

Pittsburgh again is the recipient of a kickoff and returns it to the 23 yard line, so we will see if their second possession is more productive than their first.

Oh boy, political spots. As annoying as those commercials are, I can't complain too much, they are helping to keep the lights on at work.

Pittsburgh finally gains a yard, 8 of them in fact on a Willie Parker run on first down. One play later and we have the game's first first down, on a pass to Nate Washington, which gets Pittsburgh out to their own 40 yard line.

3rd down and 6 and Ben Roethlisberger is sacked and most likely we will see the game's first punt, and indeed we do, Washington will take over and for a change they will start on their own half of the field, from their own 25 yard line.

One play and one first down, a quick ten yard pass from Jason Campbell to Santanna Moss. One play later and Clinton Portis rips off a 22 yard run and again the Redskins are in Pittsburgh territory.

Okay, a timeout by Washington on third and 8 allows me to do some online work while more political ads blather on. And when we come back, Jason Campbell's pass falls incomplete and Washington punts to Pittsburgh and the punt goes into the endzone, so Pittsburgh will take over on their own 20 when we come back from the third Toyota spot of the first quarter. Apparently Toyota didn't get the message, we don't have money to by cars anymore, we are too busy giving taxpayer money to banks so they can give the shareholders dividends and the CEOs performance bonuses. What they performed is beyond me, but I am silly like that.

Pittsburgh runs two plays and gains no yards, so again it will be third and long, 10 to be exact, but really, who is counting? An incomplete pass and Pittsburgh punts it a whopping 28 yards, so for the third time in 4 possessions Washington will take over in Pittsburgh territory. In the battle of field position Pittsburgh is definitely losing.

Again the Steeler defense holds on third down, this time on a 3rd and 3 and Pittsburgh will get the ball back here, but all the way back at their 9 yard line.

Pittsburgh gets a quick first down on a 12 yard run by Willie Parker, but the next two plays are far less successful, getting only three yards between them and on 3rd and 7 and Ben Roethlisberger has his pass dropped by Nate Washington. Roethlisberger is now 1 of 8 for 9 yards with an interception. It is never good when you have completed as many passes to the other team as you have to your own.

The punt at least means Washington will start this drive on their own half of the field, a unique circumstance in this game so far, but they take over on their own 35 yard line. Two plays will bring uip a 3rd and 6 play for Washington but the first quarter clock runs out, with Washington leading 6-0.

First play of the second quarter and Jason Campbell is sacked, so another third down conversion is stifled and Washington has to punt. Pittsburgh retuns the kick to their own 32 yard line and we will see if the second quarter is kinder to the Steelers than the first was.

Two running plays by Willie Parker net 8 yards but on third down a pass by Roethlisberger again is dropped, this time by Mewelde Mooore, though it wouldn't have gotten the first down anyway and Pittsburgh again is forced to punt. I am forced to wonder why I do this to myself as this game has really sucked to this point. At least I got the Penguins video up on the blog page, so sitting here hasn't been a complete loss, though I have to admit, I would have been better served to this point had I worked on closing out the Kenopop badge instead.

For as blah as the quesadillas were, I am all kind of yum about the iced tea.

Washington runs two plays and gets all of a yard and third down results in another sack of Jason Campbell and guess what is coming? Yep, another punt. Good god, why did I decide to do this? It is like volunteering for dental surgery.

Pittsburgh tries a deep pass on first down and while it too is incomplete, defensive pass interference is called, a penalty that results in the ball being placed at the spot of the foul, so it is a 43 yard penalty to the benefit for Pittsburgh. They just flashed a stat on the screen that pretty much sums up the futility of this contest to this point, both teams are a combined 0 for 11 on third down conversions. The reason that is relevant is because two Ben Roethlisberger incompletions later we are again looking at a third down for Pittsburgh, 3rd and 10. Roethlisberger finds Hines ward on 3rd and 10 and the play results in a 12 yard gain and a first down and it Roethlisberger's first complete pass of the second quarter, equalling his total from the first.

Third down and two yards for a first and the last third down conversion must have been an aberration, because Roethlisberger is sacked and Pittsburgh has to settle for a field goal attempt, which is good and cuts the Washington lead to 6-3.

Really, does anyone want to take over for me, I will gladly stop. I am not remotely excited at the prospect of glogging a field goal contest.

Pittsburgh has the opportunity to kickoff and this time they don't try the onside stuff, which is good, because I have yet to see where either of these teams can move the ball the length of the field on the other.

I almost hate to type it, but Washington is facing a 3rd and 20 here, I can't see them getting this, and they don't, picking up only 5 yards on the play. More punting and time for me to get a snack. Out come the Milky Way minature candy bars, they were on sale for $1 a bag so I had to buy some. I have been doing the bargain shopping recently, making a visit to the ghetto grocery on Friday, finding buy one get one free smokes on Sunday, redeeming a punch card for a free coffe and bottle of water on Sunday and even clipping a buy one get one free Big Mac coupon. Ever the bargain shopper, that tis I.

Another third down for Pittsburgh and another nonconversion. This game has officially become brutal, at least to watch. Right now I don't care which team does it, I just want something wrth typing invoved to happen here.

Washington fails on third down. I really should just copy and paste that line and insert it every so often.

And just as I call for something to type, Pittsburgh blocks the punt and will have excellent field position here, all the way down at the Washington 13 yard line,

First down, Roethlisberger takes a sack, this play making stuff was too good to be true, we had to go back to more of what we are used to, which is nothing at all.

A commercial for Saturday night college football, Oklahoma State versus Texas Tech. I can guarantee you that game will have some points scored.

Second down, Pittsburgh takes a holding call, and we go back ten yards and try it again. A pass to Santonio Holmes almost gets back the penalty yardage, but it is still 3rd and 12. Roethlisberger finds Hines Ward with the pass inside the 1 yard line, a third down conversion, everybody dance!!!!! Ben Roethlisberger runs the quarterback sneak over the goal line and we have the games first touchdown. With the extra point, it's now Pittsburgh 10 Washington 6.

Pittsburgh kicks off to Washington, and the Redskins run one play, and it results in a sack of Jason Campbell. Thank goodness we are halfway home here, 10-6 at halftime.

Well I expected to be disappointed with the candidate interviews at halftime and I wasn't disappointed in being disappointed, in one of the logical loops only my scribesmanship could make.

Toyota commercial #6 of the football game. I get it, you sell cars, let's move on, shall we?

We get ready to start the third quarter and apparently Ben Roethlisberger hurt his hand in the first half, as he is still in the lockerroom. I can tell you, he didn't hurt it completing passes, he was only 5 of 17 for 50 yards in the first half. In his place is the backup QB, Byron Leftwich for the time being.

Pittsburgh gets the kickoff to start the second half and return it to the 28 yard line. Pittsburgh, with the backup QB in, runs the ball on three straight plays and they get a first down.

First down from the 38 and Leftwich does what I have been waiting for all game by either team, he makes a play, a 50 yard pass completion to Nate Washington and as the saying goes, Pittsburgh is in business. Of coiurse he has matched Roethlisberger's output in the first half on one play.

3rd down and 7 from the Washington 8 yard line and Leftwich finds Mewelde Moore with the pass and Pittsburgh has a first down on the Washington 1 yard line.

One play later and Willie Parker scores on a 1 yard TD run and but Jeff Reed misses the extra point, so Pittsburgh leads 16-6.

Washington will start their first possession of the second half from their own 15 yard line and we will see if they can keep up with Pittsburgh's offensive output of two touchdowns in their last two possessions.

Pittsburgh picks up sack #5 on second down, and Washington will have a third down and 15 and again they fail to convert on third down, they have yet to convert one this game and will be forced to punt the ball away.

The battle of field position has drastically changed as Pittsburgh will start their next drive in Washington territory, from the 49 yard line.

Pittsburgh loses 7 yards on a reverse that didn't fool anyone, leaving a third and 17. Rather than try anything risky on third down , Pittsburgh just opts to hand off on third and long, it loses another four yards and Pittsburgh is forced to punt. Washington will get the ball back on their 28 yard line, looking to see if they can do anything of note against the Pittsburgh defense. To their credit, as poorly as they have played, they are only down 10 points right now, their defense has really kept them in this game.

Two plays and the Redskins get 9 yards, leaving a third and 1, Washington's best chance to convert a third down may be right here, and they do as Jason Campbell rolls out and finds the tight end Chris Cooley, good for 12 yards.

A screen pass to Clinton Portis gets 16 yards and Washington has their best drive of the night taking place right now. Well that was short lived, Jason Capbell throws a pass that is tipped and then intercepted and the Washington drive comes to an abrupt halt. That was Jason Campbell's first interception of the year, quite an impressive streak as it is the ninth game of the Redskin's season. Check that, the play is under review, if I had a call, I would say it is an interception and then fumble, recovered by the Steelers, but my vote doesn't count, except here on the blog page.

The referees agree with me and the interception stands, maybe I have do have some pull around this place, Pittsburgh's ball, first down.

3rd down and 15 and Leftwich again to pass, this time he finds Santonio Holmes for a first down.

What is going on here, third down and 4 and Leftwich again passes for a first down, finding Mewelde Moore to keep the Pittsburgh drive alive and to close out the third quarter with Pittsburgh still leading 16-6. Leftwich in one quarter of action is now 4 of 5 for 86 yards and has better numbers than both Roethlisberger and Campbell despite only being in the game for 15 minutes.

First play of the fourth quarter and again Leftwich finds Moore, this time for 25 yards. Pittsburgh is all the way down to the Washington 22 yard line now, with a first and 10.

Third down and 8, and again Leftwich converts with a pass to Hines Ward and Pittsburgh is inside the 10 with a first down. Two plays later and Leftwich finds Santonio Holmes for the touchdown pass. That is the third time in four possessions Pittsburgh scores a touchdown, and with the extra point, which they convert this time, Pitsburgh now leads 23-6.

Washington takes possession on their own 33 and on first down Campbell finds Portis with the pass, good for 25 yards and a first down. A holding call will push Washington back 10 yards on first down, and then Pittsburgh gets another sack, and a pass on third down to Cooley still leaves Washington with a 4th and 9. An incomplete pass would have ended the drive, but a personal foul on Pittsburgh keeps the Washington drive alive with another first down.

Third and 9 and Campbell throws to Chris Cooley for a first down and Washington is inside the Pittsburgh 10 yard line.

Two plays and Washington is still at the 7 yard line and on third down Campbell scrambles for an apparent touchdown, but Pittsbuurgh is challenging the play, saying he was down before getting into the end zone. My money is on the challenge being upheld and Washington have a 4th and 1 from the 1 yard line.

The challenge is upheld and the score is taken off of the board. I am two for two on those tonight. I should get me a commentator gig or something.

4th down and the Redskins try a pass and it is incomplete, the defense holds and Pittsburgh gets the ball back with 7 minutes to play.

Two plays and Pittsburgh only gets a yard, but right now, just killing clock is a victory for them, Washington needs three scores to tie this game. Third down and Leftwich's pass is incomplete, so Pittsburgh punts and Washington will take over again, with the return, all the way down to the Pittsburgh 31 yard line, but there is just 5:23 left to play.

Washington in just two plays, are all the way down to the 13 yard line on two passes, one to Portis and one to Cooley. The next two plays, however, get no yards and on third down, a pass to Portis gets 2 yards, leaving Washington with a 4th and 8. Pittsburgh ends the threat with sack #7 and for all intents and purposes, this game is over, Pittsburgh with a 17 point lead and less than three minutes to go.

Pittsburgh will punt again, but they have taken more time off of the clock, Washington gets the ball back here with just 2:28 remaining.

One minute remaing, come on game, get over, I am getting distracted here. I have already checked on my fantasy hockey team tonight (one goaltender win, one assist) and I am running out of things to type, because the game is not worth mentioning anymore, save for the final score.

Jason Campbell throws his second interception of the game ending Washington's last drive. Pittsburgh will take a knee and the game is over, Pittsburgh wins 23-6. Time for a spell check. Don't forget, AMA tomorrow night and for tonight, that is all.

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